[pawr-shuhn, pohr-]
See more synonyms for portion on Thesaurus.com
  1. a part of any whole, either separated from or integrated with it: I read a portion of the manuscript.
  2. an amount of food served for one person; serving; helping: He took a large portion of spinach.
  3. the part of a whole allotted to or belonging to a person or group; share.
  4. the part of an estate that goes to an heir or a next of kin.
  5. Literary. something that is allotted to a person by God or fate.
  6. (especially formerly) the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband at marriage; dowry.
verb (used with object)
  1. to divide into or distribute in portions or shares (often followed by out).
  2. to furnish with a portion, as with an inheritance or a dowry: All of his children have been amply portioned.
  3. to provide with a lot or fate: She was portioned with sorrow throughout her life.

Origin of portion

1250–1300; Middle English porcion < Old French < Latin portiōn- (stem of portiō) share, part, akin to pars part
Related formspor·tion·a·ble, adjectivepor·tion·less, adjectivere·por·tion, verb (used with object)un·por·tion·a·ble, adjectiveun·por·tioned, adjective
Can be confusedportion potion

Synonyms for portion

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1. section, segment. See part. 2. ration. 3. allotment, quota, lot, dividend. 4. inheritance. 5. fortune, lot, destiny, doom. 7. allot, apportion. 8. endow.

Antonyms for portion

1. whole.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for portion

Contemporary Examples of portion

Historical Examples of portion

British Dictionary definitions for portion


  1. a part of a whole; fraction
  2. a part allotted or belonging to a person or group
  3. an amount of food served to one person; helping
  4. law
    1. a share of property, esp one coming to a child from the estate of his parents
    2. the property given by a woman to her husband at marriage; dowry
  5. a person's lot or destiny
verb (tr)
  1. to divide up; share out
  2. to give a share to (a person); assign or allocate
  3. law to give a dowry or portion to (a person); endow
Derived Formsportionless, adjective

Word Origin for portion

C13: via Old French from Latin portiō portion, allocation; related to pars part
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for portion

early 14c., "allotted part, share," from Old French porcion "part, portion" (12c., Modern French portion) and directly from Latin portionem (nominative portio) "share, part," accusative of the noun in the phrase pro portione "according to the relation (of parts to each other)" (see proportion). From late 14c. in general sense of "section into which something is divided."


"to divide in portions," early 14c., from Old French porcioner "share out, divide in portions," from porcion (see portion (n.)). Related: Portioned; portioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper